Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.

August 7, 2023
The Vijitt Resort Phuket

1. Introduction

The Vijitt Resort Phuket provides accommodation, dining and leisure facilities to adults and children.

Children’s services include: Kids Club (indoor and outdoor playgrounds, kids swimming pool) and supervised activities for children aged 4 to 12 years. Children aged lower than 4 years old must be accompanied by the parent/guardian or hired babysitter. Kids Club opens everyday 10am-6pm.

2. Policy statement

The Vijitt Resort Phuket is aware and responsible for actively safeguarding children from any form of abuse which may include neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, hunger, mistreatment or exploitation in any form. It is duly our responsibility to protect children from all of the above as they have the same rights as adults. In implementing this child protection policy our organisation (all staff, volunteers, sessional workers student trainee, or anyone working on behalf of the resort) will:

  • Ensure all staff within our organisation understands the child protection and safeguarding responsibilities.
  • Recognise the importance of the safety of children and young people who come into contact with our services.
  • Our service is committed to safeguarding the children who take part in any of our aforementioned services and to provide a safe environment.
  • Work within current legislation to safeguard children and review our child safeguarding statement and accompanying child safeguarding policies and procedures regularly.
  • Act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse. This may involve sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
  • Recognise that some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
  • Recognise that all children have equal rights to protection, regardless of age, ability, culture, language, gender, race, religion or sexual identity.
  • Ensure there is a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
  • Ensure appropriate training, advice and guidance are in place

3. Designated Safeguarding Lead

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Ms. Patcharaluxamee Eng-Chuan /Financial Controller

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Ms. Pimrata Saisanei / Assistant Human Resources Manager

If such a case were to arise, procedures are in place to manage any situation whereby a child’s wellbeing may be at risk. DSL will be the final point of contact who in collaboration with our team will manage such a case, notifying local law enforcement, authority’s, and child protection organizations to act accordingly and prohibiting their enforcement on premises.

The role and responsibilities of the DSL:

  • To provide advice and support to staff and volunteers who have concerns a child is at risk of, or is suffering from abuse
  • To ensure all staff are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they are concerned a child/young person is subject to abuse or neglect.
  • Ensure any concerns about a child/young person are acted on immediately and clearly recorded.
  • The DSL will make a decision as to whether to make a referral to the authorities
  • To ensure the referral is acted upon and issues are addressed in a timely manner.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead/Deputy will record any reported incidents in relation to a child/young person or breach of child protection policies and procedures. This will be stored in the safeguarding file and its contents will be kept confidential and secure.
  • Refer any cases to the authorities about any child protection concerns relating to a staff member or other organisations.
  • Refer persons dismissed/left due to risk or harm to a child to the authorities
  • Refer concerns about radicalisation to authorities
  • Refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the authorities (Police) as required.
  • Contribute to the assessment of children by working with all appropriate agencies and the authorities, including attendance at strategy discussions and multi-agency meetings.
  • Ensure safeguarding policies are known, understood and used appropriately by staff and volunteers and parents/carers where relevant; reviewed annually with the organisations senior managers/owners;
  • Ensure policies are available publicly

4. Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Resort will ensure all staff, especially staff working with children, undertakes safeguarding training regularly.

5. How concerns about a child or young person’s safety can come to light

Resort will ensure all staff aware of, for example:

  • A child or young person alleges abuse has taken place or they feel unsafe
  • A third party or anonymous allegation is received
  • A child or young person’s appearance, behaviour, play, drawing or statements cause suspicion of abuse and/or neglect
  • A child or young person reports an incident(s) of alleged abuse which occurred some time ago
  • A report is made regarding the serious misconduct of a worker towards a child or young person.

6. What to do if you are concerned about a child

Once information that a child may be at risk of, or experiencing harm staff will:

Stage 1

RECEIVE: Listen to the child/young person and accept what they are telling you. Encourage the child/young person to allow another person to be present. It is okay to ask questions e.g. ‘I notice you don’t appear to be yourself today’, Can you tell me how you are feeling? and you can ask them to clarify what they have said. You can ask questions such as: ‘Tell me a bit more…’, ‘Can you explain that…’ or ‘Can you describe’ … (TED – Tell, Explain and Describe).

NEVER ask leading (investigative) questions e.g. ‘Was his hair brown? What was her name?’ (This conversation could be deemed as the ‘interview’ and a child can only be ‘interviewed’ once with regards to a disclosure and this should be left to a professionally qualified person).

REASSURE: Stay calm and reassure them they have done the right thing. Do not promise confidentiality. Explain you may need to share what they are telling so you can help them. Reassure them they are not to blame or in trouble for what they have told you.

REACT: Explain what you have to do next. Do not pass judgement or show shock or disquiet.

RECORD: Record what was said as soon as possible after any disclosure (it is important to record the same language/words used by the child). Make a note of any signs or injuries and any behaviour. Where possible draw a picture to indicate location of injuries. The person who receives the allegation or has a concern should complete a report and ensure it is signed and dated on each page. Respect confidentiality and file documents securely.

SUPPORT: Offer support to the child or young person throughout any process that may happen to them. Make sure the child or young person will be safe. Get support for yourself through your line manager or agreed alternative.

Notify the nominated Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy of the disclosure immediately or contact Initial Contact Point and/or the police if no-one from your organisation is available and you believe the child or young person to be in immediate danger.

Stage 2

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or worker will take immediate action if there is a suspicion a child has been abused or likely to be abused and report this to the authorities.

7. Managing Allegations against a member of Staff or Volunteer

The Vijitt Resort Phuket will ensure any allegations made against members or a member of staff or organisations will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with these procedures:

  • The worker will ensure the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
  • The person to whom an allegation or concern is first reported should treat the matter seriously and give assurance that the information will only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection at The Vijitt Resort Phuket should be informed immediately. In the case of an allegation involving the named person, alternative arrangements should be sought to ensure the matter is dealt with by an independent person or refer the named deputy.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead should contact the authorities, who will advise on how to proceed.
  • The employer should seek advice from the authorities or the Police about how much information should be disclosed to the accused person.
  • Subject to restrictions on the information that can be shared, the employer should, as soon as possible, inform the person accused about the nature of the allegation; how enquiries will be conducted and the possible outcome
  • The individual who first received/witnessed the concern should make a full written record of what was seen, heard and/or told as soon as possible after observing the incident/receiving the report. It is important the report is an accurate description and is signed and dated.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead if appropriate, can support the worker during this process, but must not complete the report on their behalf. This report must be made available on request from either the police and/or Children’s Social Care.
  • Regardless of whether a police and/or Children’s Social Care investigation follows, The Vijitt Resort Phuket will ensure an internal investigation takes place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures.
  • In the event an allegation is proven to be untrue, or even fabricated, appropriate steps will be taken for follow-up with the person who has been accused, the child, and the person who reported the incident. Efforts will be made to provide assistance to an associate accused of abuse with children, including counseling or other appropriate forms of support.
  • If the investigation concludes that child abuse has occurred which is not subject to criminal prosecution, staff will be subject to disciplinary action within The Vijitt Resort Phuket up to and including dismissal.
  • If the investigation concludes that abuse has occurred which is subject to criminal prosecution according to national laws, all findings will be reported to the relevant national police authorities and full cooperation afforded them during an external investigation.
  • In the event an associate is discharged for proven child abuse, The Vijitt Resort Phuket will disclose such information as requested by police, a prospective employer, etc. Such disclosures will be made in accordance with applicable law

8. Recording and managing confidential information

All personnel are responsible for reporting suspected child abuse or exploitation of any kind. Any person who has knowledge of, suspects, or has witnessed a potential child protection issue, personnel should immediately contact the DSL. A report should be made immediately, within 24 hours, to allow for early intervention and a prompt investigation.

Verbal report should be followed with a written statement within a further 48 hours (to note exactly what was said as soon as possible after any disclosure or allegation. It is important to record the same language/words used by the child or individual. Make a note of any signs or injuries and any behavior).. Where possible draw a picture to indicate location of injuries and ensure it is signed and dated on each page. Respect confidentiality and file documents securely.

On receipt of the report, the DSL will begin an internal investigation and where appropriate file a complaint with the relevant Police and/or Authorities. Full cooperation will be afforded them during any external investigation. The internal investigation will be launched within 48 hours of receipt of the complaint and will be carried out by the manager and CPO. Any investigation will aim to respect the privacy and safety of the child and to make the investigation as child friendly as possible.

Following Data Protection Policy, The Vijitt Resort Phuket commits to manage all confidential information safely.

9. Information sharing

In order to keep children who come into contact with our service safe from harm, we may need to share information with other professionals, in particular, where the following comes to light:

  • A child’s health and development, and exposure to possible harm;
  • A parent / carer who may need help, or may not be able to care for a child adequately and safely; and
  • Adults and other children who may pose a risk of harm to a child.

As a general principle, information will only be shared with the consent of the parent/carer and subject of the information, where relevant from the outset, about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so. However, information can still be shared without consent if there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk.

When sharing confidential information about a member of staff, child or parent, The Vijitt Resort Phuket has regard to its responsibilities under Data Protection Laws

Where information is requested by telephone or electronically care must be taken to ensure that the recipient is entitled to receive the information requested and this will be done in a secure and confidential way. Where there is any doubt the information may not be provided without the approval of a manager.

Regardless of how the information is shared, electrically or in person or in direct person, it should always be carried out securely and recorded in the individual’s record.

10. Safer Recruitment

  • All prospective employees will be informed of the resort child protection and safeguarding policy.
  • Screening of applicants will include a personal interview and receipt of a valid form of identification. During the interview process, applicants will be asked about previous work with children.
  • Where possible and permissible by local law, applicants for positions as a staff member are requested to give permission for a criminal record or police check for any conviction related to child abuse or other relevant offences. Expatriates will be subject to the same background checks as possible and permissible by law in their home countries.
  • Resort reserves the right to terminate a contract if reference checks (and background check in the future) reveal that the person is not suitable to work with children or for any reason that may put children at risk.
  • The Child Protection Policy will be reviewed during new staff orientation as well as in regular internal training, and the DSL shall ensure all new personnel acknowledge and understanding of the policy.

11. Responsibilities of management committees

This child protection and safeguarding policy and procedure acknowledged and understood by all Management Team who will ensure child safeguarding practice is enforced in the workplace.

12. Distributing/Reviewing Policies and Procedures

The Vijitt Resort Phuket is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service. The information will be displayed at staff notice board, at Kids’ Club and in hotel website. And to be reviewed regularly.

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